Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bride Price

I got an advance list from Monique’s family about the dowry expected.

A rope for Monique’s mother? Seriously. Well thank heavens I know someone with a sisal farm.

2 Blankets and a pair of sheets? OK, Nakumatt… they need, you’ve got it.

46 goats? 46? Why 46?

22 batch (er.. batch?) of bananas plus two others? Plus two others. Why not just say 24? I always knew people who get married are bananas but this is really putting it quite literally.

A debe of honey for Monique’s father? A debe? Not a bottle. Not a tin. A debe? Is there even a place one can buy a debe of honey. Isn’t that like 20 litres of honey?

A debe of honey for Monique’s mother? Oh boy. And I was thinking the mother will get satisfaction by calling her Dad the pet word ‘Honey’. Two debes it is then!

Beer as a follow up of the goat? Hopefully, I get to partake of the beer. Bt wait, the goats are live aren’t they? So no roast goat meat… so why beer to follow them up!

12 sacks of maize and 1 sack of beans? Hmmmm. Not genetically modified.

Oh.. there is a choice… you either give small dowry or big dowry. Very clever!

Bull slaughtered by Our Kid and eaten at Monique’s father’s home? Wow. I have to slaughter the bull? Seriously. I need to go for those bull fighting lessons and give them quite a show!

He goat (brought by Our Kid when the bull is being slaughtered)? How do I do that? Shouldn’t I be slaughtering the bull? There is no Our Kid clone to bring the goat at the same time. And does that make it 47 goats, now?

A ram (this can be converted to money!)? Believe me, everything in this world can be converted to money!

Bulls and cows? No way. What about the goats?

Beer? More beer? Unless this is now specified to be Keroche Industries beer and the other one was East African Breweries beer!

Bring beer to Monique’s family four times? Wait? Four times? Before or after marriage? Four times? Did my barman have anything to do with this list?

2 goats for the grandmother’s paternal and maternal? If you are counting, that is now 49 goats! I thought one of her grandmother’s is deceased.

A goat for Monique’s brothers? And we now hit the 50 mark! Goats are popular!

A goat for the maternal uncle? 51? Now this is getting pricy!

A goat for the firewood? Huh? A goat for the firewood? What next? A goat for the matchbox? But I see there is a clarification.. you could replace this goat with firewood. Hmmm. With the sort of conservation going on at the Mau Forest, chances are you can actually be safe getting a goat rather than the firewood.

One side of the caucus? Still trying to digest this. Carcass? The Bull Must Be Big? How big?

Fat – One goat? Hmmm. Goat 53.

A bundle of sugar cane – one goat? You know what… I think am sticking to goat. No ay you can go to Mumias to get sugar cane when you can replace it with Goat 54.

A goat for the paternal uncle? I knew it! I was wondering why the maternal uncle was getting a goat whilst the paternal one was left out. I think am going to just round off and make it 60 goats!

A goat? He he he! Goat 56. This one was simply a goat! To whom it is going, it was not stated. I think this may be going to the local chief! I like that! A goat!

Money? Money? Or Honey? Money! No denomination, could be dollars, could be shillings, could be pounds, could be Euros. Money!

Money for those who attend the dowry negotiation? Wow. These guys drive a hard bargain. I like the word negotiations, though.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Lunch Date

“Do you know Rusty Nail?” Monique asked after I picked up her cell-phone call at its second ring.

“Rusty Nail?” I echoed. Then it occurred to me after she had replied with a “Yeah…”

“Looky here babes,” I told her. “Just because we haven’t been intimate for a while doesn’t mean you have to change the nickname for my your-favourite-body-part.”

She laughed.

“Our Kid,” she said. I didn’t see anything funny about the predicament she had forcibly placed me just a few weeks before the wedding. “Firstly, your my-favourite-body-part is your lips. And secondly, Rusty Nail is a restaurant,” she informed me.

“Hmmm?” I asked.

“Yeah. It is near The Great Corner.”

Now she had lost me. I am a quite directionless person and I always seem to get lost once I make a turning and I therefore never bother with pointing to people where I have come from.

Even in my own digs, I am unable to point out where the City Centre is and once in a while meanie people have laughed at me when I point to the opposite directions. So there was no way I could even remember where this corner was as the mere mention of the word ‘corner’ makes me tremble.

“Where the devil is that?”

“Kiddo, you really have lost your sense of humour,” Monique said. “Oh well…” and then the cellphone connection went off.

I called her back.

“Sowie,” she said at the first ring. “I ran out of units.”

Hmmm. And my unit has been running out of patience since she slapped this ban on me so that we could focus on the wedding.

“What was I saying?” she asked.

On Monique. She could remember the street, the exact date or month and the colour of mini-skirt or dress of the last girl whose swinging hips made me turn my head as we walked past but she couldn’t remember what she was just telling me only a few minutes ago.

“You were talking about some corner,” I said hoping this was all it took to click the refresh button.

‘Oh.. yeah… The Great Corner… come on… didn’t you know that Dagoretti Corner is a corruption of that?”

Wololo. Was she kidding me? Dagoretti?

“So anyways... I would like to buy you lunch at Rusty Nail.”

I have been around women for so long in my life that I know when she says she wants to buy you lunch it is either she wants you to buy her lunch or she wants you to buy her lunch.

“That’s alright. I am insatiable and could do with some food.” I admitted.

And that is how we ended up at the place where the sign at the entrance could very well have been the same sign on Monique’s panyos. Admittance was restricted.

I had barely sat down when she smiled and said, “Is there something you want to tell me?”

Now, now. I thought this was about lunch. My appetite was all soaring and I made gestures for the menu to be brought to the table. I looked up at her and she was having this sly look in her face. Something was up.

“Is there something you want me to tell you?” I asked her as we looked at the menu. I will probably never ever figure out women and their ways. She asks me if there is something I want to tell her when I didn’t have anything to tell her since she had been the one who initiated this whole lunch date in the first place.

“Eish Our Kid,” she prodded. “There must be something you want to tell me.”

“Nope!” I said. “Is there a point to all this?”

“I’ll give you a hint,” she stated. “Shower!”

I laughed uneasily.

“Oooh”, I said. “The Bridal Shower. You know, I always thought that was some girl event. I have no problems if you guys want to invite a stripper or one of those sexologists to make your evening. I thought I already told you I am not the most old fashioned person you ever met. It would be a great…”

“I heard you had quite the shower the other day!”

Wow. Cilla actually told her! Cilla actually told her! Cilla told her about the shower? Now this was getting interesting (probably for you) and uninteresting (definitely for me). I will probably never ever figure out women and their ways. Snakes with tits.

“I… had quite the shower the other day?” I repeated after her.

I had discovered that this asking-a-question-back always worked for me when Monique asked me any question or said anything I wasn’t sure how to respond to. There was no YES or NO for me since this was not the referendum.

“Yeah. I know about it. I am so proud of you,” she said and lovingly put her hand against my chin as if she wanted to give me some shaving tips. My mind was racing.

“You are?” I asked.


Turns out that Cilla told her that in a moment of feminine vengeance against her ex-boyfriend, she had offered herself to me during this sex ban and I had demurred. Turns out that Cilla had found a foursome sex tape of her boyfriend in his apartment and upon watching it had decided she was through and through with him.

“A foursome?”

Awesome. Boy, oh, boy are not some men lucky? I have met Cilla’s boyfriend (or now ex) several times and he was always wearing some T-Shirts with funny inscriptions such as ‘I AM 2 GIRLS SHORT OF A 3SOME’ but I never thought the guy actually would actualize some of those thoughts.

I was still picturing the tape in my mind to even notice that Monique was continuing with her talk. And like all women, Monique can talk as if she needs to hit a certain word limit per day!

“So I guess I am also to blame for always concentrating on this our relationship to the exclusion of the desperation that my friends like Cish are going through. You know when she opened her heart to me, I really felt bad about how the two relationships with our respective boyfriends have been so different!”

Music to my ears. To tell you the truth, Monique was too much at times and had even gotten un-friended by several of her friends as she kept going on and on about our relationship and even had the countdown to the wedding.

'18 days until I marry the love of my life!... 17 days until I marry my best friiiiiiiiiiend!...' and so on...

Some of my friends had in jest inboxed me these updates twisted to reflect my soon to be Prison Break status. She counted each and every day!

“… And when the other day she asked me where I had bought that outfit the magazine had cited as ‘Model’s Own’ and I told her you got it for me, she had sadly remarked how she never got anything from her boyfriend.”

On the basis of that tape, she could easily get something from her boyfriend, I thought. And on and on and on Monique went. In my mind I was thinking of how one day I should be walking around with a placard that opened up to read ‘THE END’ when her stories got lengthy.

“… I know I called for a lot of sacrifice when I said that I wanted us to take a break from intimacy until the wedding and I promise you I am going to give you so much it will be worth it”

Hmmm. Mushy stuff.

I was confused. I didn’t know whether to say the pseudo-Shakespearean tosh or to play the I-am-still-upset-you-said-no-intimacy-until-the-wedding role.

I had already taken some advice from my close associates on how to handle this pre-wedding bilas.

Romeo, whom I had settled on as the Best Man had advised that he had never read in the obituaries about someone whose cause of death was lack of sex.

Furansisi had confessed that he once had a back problem and the doctor prescribed that he had no intimacy for a month… though he tried to coax his wife into sex with the line ‘The Doctor isn’t here to see me!”

Don on the other had said he pitied Monique. “You could positively drown her in your sperm when the ban is lifted!”

'15 days. 15 days and then it is done!...' my FB status would have read if I was the status updating type.

We were through with lunch and Monique either settled the bill or didn't.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Near Sex Experience

Well, it turns out that phrases mean different things to different people. Especially Monique.

It is quite an outrage and part of the reason I haven’t recently been having any blogging rights at all.

First you may need to understand the statistics! Statistics are a terrible thing. And none were worse than those that were recently released that indicated that more unmarried Kenyans have sex than married ones.

As Alanis Morisette probably asked when confronted with those statistics, ‘Isn’t it ironic?’. Truly, how can people who are legally licensed to have sex be the ones who are not doing it more frequently. It would be ironic too to my grandma Rosa.

Whenever I have spoken to my grandma and she wanted to find out where a certain female relative was married, she would use the phrase in the local dialect in my community that comes out as ‘In whose home is she getting shagged?’.

In one other incident that illustrates the license to have sex, I had my attachment during my university days at the local Law Courts when one day a couple that had been caught having sex in a car were arraigned before the court. They were married. But not to each other.

The charge sheet inexplicably and perhaps memorably read: Being idle and without lawful excuse engaging in sex in a motor vehicle.

I chuckled. Being idle? If there is anything you want to accuse people who are engaged in nookie, it surely would not be being idle! And when I challenged the police prosecutor whom I shared my lunch with during the entire attachment what the lawful excuse for having sex was, he simply said, ‘Marriage!’

So I was a bit surprised as a person who was getting married to learn that most married men don’t get jiggy with their wives. It is so mind boggling and perhaps grim. And this was confirmed recently when one of my lady clients who was seeking a decree of divorce from her husband sneered: “The only chance that I could have sex with my husband is if I divorced him”.

The statistics by National Aids Control Committee also revealed that Kenyan youngsters are sexually active at very alarming levels. In fact, it was indicated that the month of December is the month that most youth lose their virginity.

The shocking report jolted a few persons who decided that the only way for this country to be saved would be if we upheld our old traditions. Like outlawing pre-marital sex. And as it sadly turned out, a few persons included Monique.

Now, a few months ago, if you asked me what pre-marital sex was, I would have gladly joined in and stated how it was the kick the entire populace needed.

For Monique, since the whole ‘we are now engaged’ scene played itself out in our lives, she decided that we had to take it traditional. She put her foot down. Yes.

Strictly no more nookie before the wedding. I protested. Pre-marital did not mean ‘just before the wedding’ but she appeared to have made up her mind to keep her fine feet, straight legs, quivering thighs and the demesnes that lay adjacent closed until the business of the marriage ceremony was concluded.

So the last few months I have been quite my grumpy self suffering from nookie withdrawal symptoms and it got so bad that I couldn’t blog as I just can’t blog when am not having sex.

[Now I can blog, because, I finally, er… you know….]

It has been a terribly trying time. Key word, trying. And there were other actors to keep it that way during my period of withdrawal.

I found myself spending more time in the showers contemplating self love. And so Cilla one day burst into the bathroom as I was taking my shower. I was busy singing a fairly familiar Lucky Dube tune with the made up lyrics, “You know where to find me, when you wanna see me!”

The water was gushing and I briefly turned it off to see why it was flowing in torrents and not spurting out evenly. Turned out someone had turned and slightly twisted the shower head. Monique didn’t use this shower, preferring to use the bath tub and the only person who used it other meself was Cilla.

Whilst I silently cussed her shapely behind and wondered why people with the body of a Goddess would sometimes have the brain of a footballer, I turned the water back on and went on with my Lucky rendition.

“You know where to find me, when you wanna talk to me! You know…”

The doorknob to the shower had turned and the door was slammed.

“Sorry, but I really have to go,” Cilla said like she was a contestant on those Japanese game shows where girls compete to find out who can hold their bladder the longest.

“You WHAT?” I shockingly asked as I looked all over for my towel which was not in the vicinity but was placed on the sink. Only the shower curtain separated us as she sat on the throne with the sound of her pee hitting the water.

“There are THREE bathrooms in the damn house”, I protested.

“I am used to this one” she said as she reached for the flush. It was true. She had even attempted to pimp up this bathroom and therein lay a stash of magazines such as True Love, Drum and a recent one called Move.

Who knew that True Love could be found in a bathroom?

I pulled part of the shower curtain and looked at her by peering through the pulled side. She was in the buff but wrapped in a towel.

“So, you have been spending more time in the showers of late,” she stated as if this was the time and place to make comments about my new found sense for super-cleanliness.

“Cold days, hot showers,” I said.

“Are you sure it hasn’t anything to do with the fact that Monique told me you are nil by hole?” she asked.

“Nil by what?” I asked more in shock than need to understand.

“Let me join you”, she said and stepped into the shower and threw her towel to the floor.

“Are you out of your mind,” I said more out of the fear of Monique walking in on us than anything else.

“Relax,” she said reaching for the soap and cloth and covering herself in lather. “Monique has stepped out.”

She turned to look at me. At my face and then moving her eyes down.

No, no, no were the only words and thoughts on my mind.

She let out a laugh. I just had the horn real bad and I was sure in its head it was thinking what a terrific and delightful snatch this would be.

“Clearly you are happy to see me!” she said and we kissed whilst she scrubbed my back.

You know I never figured when I was going to take this shower, that I would be showered with kisses.

“Admit it,” she said after our lip lock ended as we pulled away for air. “You have wanted to kiss me for so long”.

I had thought about it. And resisted the urge even in the moments she had been in a state of undress or in moments of semi cleavage display when she was in the kitchen and there had been quite plenty of such moments.

There was also the annoying habit she had when we were watching a movie on the idiot box and some kissing scene was shown and Cilla would make this rather snake-hissing sound. “Hmmmmmwwwwwwwa!” It happened all the time.

To make it worse, she had decided to move some of the exercise equipment to the living room and would once in a while lay on the damn black thing (I don’t even know what to call it or how it got into my house) but there was no way those were legitimate exercise routines. She would lift her backside and part her legs in a rhythmic motion which almost got me choking on my breakfast cereal one day.

I had thought about getting sunglasses especially when I noticed that sometimes the rather tight leggings she wore accentuated her figure and bordered on what you would call a body scanner.

Yet here she was in her birthday suit and no imaginations were necessary. There was honour and there was Maid of Honour indeed.

“Hey,” I said breathlessly as she parted her legs and rinsed the wet body part there-between. “I think …”

I heard the noise of the padlock at the gate being fiddled with.

“… I think I am clean enough,” I said.

As I moved back, she looked up at me and had a slight frown on her face.

“You know where to find me ... when you wanna …”, she jokingly sang.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Change You Can See

“To Arthur”, Alex toasted and we all muttered in unison as our frothy glasses endured the ritual and made known their disapproval with a clinking sound.

Whoever Arthur was, he had brought us together as we drowned ourselves silly on this Friday evening. Some misguided people called this our grouping the Committee of Sexperts. Me? I just saw it as a group of friends who were always there for each other during happy days and crappy days.

Alex was the Patron but deep down, I knew he had never forgiven me for a toast I had made at his wedding when in the presence of the Church, I had misspoken and made a jest about how he was marrying the lovely Martha and would therefore be officially a Martha Effer.

For a man whose name rhymed with sex, it seemed appropriate but I learnt my lesson that you were not allowed to judge people by the rhymes of their names.

Furansisi, Martin, Don and Romeo were also in attendance at the table. Amidst all the imbibing of beer, I was hoping that I would get them to give me some advice.

But when I said the ‘Guys, I have a thorny issue I need discussed’, line, Don was quick with the retort.

“You bet! We can always discuss your horny issues”.

Don. Sometimes I wished I could get him to observe a lifetime of silence. He was a childhood friend that had gotten me into a fair share of trouble. Sometimes, it also amazed me that he was not Nairobi’s biggest gambler. Even the loss of my virginity was subject to a bet he had placed.

Romeo jumped in with his contribution.

“Give the dude a break. He probably fell for one of his beautiful and recently divorced clients.”

Romeo. Teetotaller whose body craved booze like Eric Benet craved sex but his polished mind always told him it was just pointless, didn’t taste good and you would sober up anyway. He had been an acquaintance since high school days and had lived up to his high school nickname ‘Fossil’ as he now worked for the LAPD. Life and Pensions Division.

“What is it?” Martin jumped in. “You can’t get it up anymore without the blue pill? Try eating vegetables”

Martin. Newlywed but he had still insisted that he joins us at the strip joint. He always had a permanent smile still on his face since his marriage and now you could pin it on vegetables and mborgasms. Though he wanted it to go on record that he just wanted a night out with the boys, he probably was excited about the venue. If I hadn’t proposed on his behalf to his wife, he would probably have thought about something as romantic as taking her to this joint and asking the strippers to hold up Marry Marti placards.

“Did you knock up Monique… or some girl else?”

That was Furansisi. That name. He told us that his school teacher had completed his Primary Education registration with the wrong spelling of his original name Francis but he had decided to stick with the misspell one that he now claimed was unique and African. He looks as always, like an opera singer, a bit overweight and happy.

Beer, sex, illicit love, erectile dysfunction and pre-marital pregnancy. It was another wake up call that I really needed to change friends.

I had to tell them. Yes, I told them that Monique had proposed.

“She what?” Alex was in a fit. “Huuuuhi”

Yes, she had proposed.

“She asked you to marry her?” Romeo barged in laughing. “Or she asked to marry you?”

Before I could answer, and as a cue that these were just rhetoric questions by the boys, Furansisi could not contain himself and tears poured into his glass of Guinness. His glass, was as always, half bull.

“Gosh. Our Kid. You are our kidding right?”

Of course I wasn’t. I narrated to them in all details the incident that had played out at my digs some days past. They were listening to this as if it was something out of this world. Neanderthals.

“So what did you say?” Martin posed.

“I bet you he said ‘No’” Don interjected.

I told them I was in shock, momentarily after that question was posed.

“She gave you CPR?” Alex half-asked and half-guessed.

No. Was I the one telling the story or were they flies on the wall when the proposal went down? I had taken a few breaths and said ‘Eventually’.

“Bring more beers!” Romeo shouted, knowing very well that he wouldn’t touch even one. “You are lucky to be alive, Our Kid. She asked ‘Will you marry me?’ and you told her ‘Eventually!’?”

Well, I had to let them know, that Monique actually surprised me by jumping up and down and then jumped on me and shouted ‘We are going to get married’ and after a few wet kisses run down the stairs to tell Cilla that we are going to get married. And within no more than two minutes, she had changed her Facebook Relationship Status to Engaged.

“Oh man. That woman is a woman, bwana!” Don offered. “You are lucky. I know a man who went to the post office and found a Wedding Invitation Card in his box. The wedding he was being invited to was his girlfriend’s. And she was getting married to him!”

Some stories Don gives us. Alex was highly amused.

“I guess I should make another toast!” he said.

And you will be toast.

Just because Alex and a few other men had made a change from ‘going home to masturbate’ to ‘Welcome Home Honey’ didn’t mean that this was change we could all believe in and we should embrace.

In any event, traditionally, men do the proposing, as Furansisi was quick to point out. How then was my life panning out? That I couldn’t even be the one who proposed to a woman in some rather macabre way such as calling Gaetano Kugwa on Capital FM to let me propose on air.

“Look on the bright side,” Romeo pointed out. “As a divorce lawyer, you obviously know that a woman can initiate a divorce. If a woman can initiate a divorce, I don’t see why she can’t initiate marriage.”

When Romeo starts making sense, it usually is an indication that with his exception, we are all getting drunk.

“Romeo is right”, Don made his contribution having taken his glance off the girls who had just left the stage. “Most marriages are initiated by women. Even when the man actually proposes, he has usually been forced into that situation. That is why all weddings are girlie affairs”

He should know. He probably had won something from a bet he had placed on the first amongst us who would have been propositioned by a woman because he was the first one amongst us who had fidgeted with his phone after my rather heartrending news.

I later learnt that he was trying to get some girl to join us later for drinks but she was sick of his stalking and was answering the phone and blowing a vuvuzela into the phone instead of talking. I would have taken a bet on that one that Don would be the first to have something like that happen to him.

“Is she going to pay dowry?” Martin interjected as the table burst into laughter.

“I also hope that doesn’t mean you have to change your surname to hers!” Alex added. “That would be change that we can truly see!”

The boys were unanimous that marriage will really change a lot of things and I will have no control over that.

“You won’t even be able to blow your nose on the bed sheets, pee in the sink and drink milk out of milk cartons”, Don explained and he was immediately ruled out of the running for Best Man.

Monique has practically been living in and out of my house the past few months. She said that prefers separate bathrooms and then went ahead to take over the Master Bathroom and shunted me to the other non-bath-tubbed bathrooms.

“She took over the Master Bathroom?” Alex exclaimed.

If she thinks she is the Master, you can show her she isn’t by taking a mistress,” Don advised. What is he? The Don Kill-You-Me-Now-Then?

The truth is that since this girl and her chic pals started staying around with a measure of permanence, I am not even able to clip my toenails on the sofa with my other foot on the coffee table, and I am not able to shave your beards over the sink changing it from the All Whites to the All Blacks. She caused about the socks strewn all over the living room and horror of horrors, bought a laundry basket whose attempted use has made me realize my basketball skills need polishing up.

That is pre-marital bliss for you. Marital bliss may even get worse. If it does, that is why I have that slogan for my clients in my office: Things To Do By the Time You Turn 40. Get A Divorce.

“You will get used to it”, Romeo jumped in. “Marriage may be tough but it is an institution that is built. Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in one day.”

Much like Romeo was killed in one day. I think he just got the Best Man’s job right there.

“Look on the bright side,” Furansisi chipped in and we all wondered what silver lining he had just spotted. “We are all gonna get new suits as Groomsmen!”

I had to tell them. Monique had said she didn’t want any Groomsmen. It was just a Best Man and a Maid of Honour and the way things were going, that had already been taken up by Romeo and Cilla.

There was silence. The mood changed.

“Let’s drink!” Alex said again.